Glenrothes: Riverside and Woods

A lovely walk starting and finishing at Glenrothes Riverside Park. The walk takes you alongside rivers, through woodland and other green spaces. You will experience a totally different side to Glenrothes from the concrete and roundabouts that you see when driving through the town.

There are many waymarked trails through the park created by the Friends of Riverside Park. This walk links a number of them together. You can download further information about the waymarked trails from the FORP website.

Most of this walk is on surfaced paths and cycle routes although a few sections do make use of more natural woodland paths which can be uneven in places.

Distance: 4.6 miles / 6.6 km

Ascent: 380 feet / 110 m

Start / finish: Glenrothes Riverside Park

There are two car parks for the Riverside Park. Either of them could be used for this walk. The directions below assume starting from the main car park on Leslie Road.

From the car park walk down to the wildlife pool and follow the path along its northern side (don’t cross over the river at the bridge). This section of the walk is using the Dipper Way (dark blue) waymarked trail. Look out for dippers and other wildlife as you walk alongside the river. Cross over the river when you reach a bridge and turn left to walk along the opposite bank of the river with a play area to your right. Note the totem pole (one of a number of totems in the park created by local school children) in the play park and the “UFOs”. An alternative to walking along the river past the play area would be to go right after crossing the river on the black Orchard Trek to reach an obvious totem pole on your left. You could then have fun running down the grassy hillside to reach the path alongside the River Leven.

After the play area turn right onto another waymarked route, the yellow Daffodil Avenue and red Riverside Walk. You should now be heading alongside the River Leven towards an obvious road bridge. After passing under the suspension bridge you will reach a footbridge on your left across the river. Cross over and go immediately right opposite a marker post for the Bat Box walk. This is the route of the blue Leslie Walk.

This section of path is unsurfaced but it is a pleasant walk along the river bank. There is a stone bench should you require a rest. When the path leaves the river it starts to climb uphill to meet with another path. Turn left onto this path which has a smoother surface than the previous one. You will now be high above the river and in the winter when there are no leaves on the trees you will enjoy good views across the river to the ruin of Leslie House. Keep left when the path joins a tarmac path leading back to the suspension bridge.

You could miss out this loop by simply turning left back under the suspension bridge after crossing the river.

Pass under the bridge again and follow the lovely walk along the southern bank of the river: the red Riverside Walk. Keep straight on when you reach a junction so that you are now on the orange Mosaic Walk passing a wildlife garden. Head for the underpass under the main road noting the mosaic on the side of the underpass.

Once on the other side of the road, go left across a footbridge over the river and then turn right at the second lamp post onto a woodland path. Stay on the main woodland path through the trees until you reach an orange waymarker arrow where you go left (the orange route goes right).

An alternative to the orange route through the woods is not to cross the river immediately after the underpass but to walk through the parkland to reach the next bridge at a signpost. This route has the advantage of passing a watering hole for some of Glenrothes’ more exotic wildlife: the hippos (there are more hippos further down the river as well). Crossover at this bridge and follow the surfaced path which the woodland route joins at the orange marker post.

You will now be on the pink Hippo Parade route. Keep on the main tarmac path ignoring side paths into the houses on both your left and right. When you reach a signpost without a sign, go left so that there are houses to your left. Stay on the main path through the woodland until you reach a wide path (looks as though it should be a road) where you turn left. There will be a road to your right through the trees and houses to your left.

When you reach a road cross over and go left for a short distance before turning right into parkland opposite the hospital. Follow the path over the grass and through an underpass keeping right at the Y junction (for a shorter route you could turn left and rejoin the route when you reach a cycle track). Go left down a few steps into a woodland with houses to your right. Follow the path through the woodland passing a play area. Once you reach the end of the houses the path becomes a little muddy. At this point turn sharp left and go slightly uphill into the trees. The path now runs along the top of an embankment for a while. When you come down off the embankment keep right (straight on) until you start to approach a road. Go right and right again on to a surfaced path. If you decided to take the shorter option mentioned above you will rejoin the route here. The path takes you out of the woods where you turn right onto an old section of road now used as a cycle path.

The above woodland loop could be missed out by simply keeping left after the underpass and following a good path parallel to the road (Western Avenue) to join the route above at the cycle path.

The cycle track runs next to main road for a while. Look out for a gap in the wall on your right hand side where a path leads to some houses. Stay on this path keeping straight on with the houses to your right and some trees to your left. You will join a quiet road for a short section until the path starts again. At the end of the path turn right on to Whinnyknowe passing Granton Court on your left. Opposite a bus stop there is a path on your left leading into a housing street. Follow this road round to the left until you reach another path that starts between no 37 and no 39. Then turn left and immediately right to follow a path alongside a river. You are now on the purple Forest Explorer route.

The path passes under a road bridge where there are some small waterfalls, and back into Riverside Park. Keep alongside the river on the purple trail until you reach a T junction. Go left away from the river and then turn immediately right onto a path which is part of both the yellow and purple routes. This path takes you back close to the river. This section of path is not surfaced and can be a bit uneven in places. When you reach the next T junction go left under a road bridge. You could  miss out the uneven river path by turning right over the bridge and then left past Leslie House to reach the road bridge.

After the road bridge turn left on to a short woodland path which takes you to the arboretum and the green A-MAZing Lime Tree Walk. This would be a good location to practise tree identification as the trees are labelled! Note the “picture frame” for the tree avenue and centre piece. In the Spring the centre piece is surrounded by daffodils planted in a star shape. Also in the area is a beech hedge maze that you can explore.

After exploring the area go down a set of steps beside the totem pole and up the steps on the opposite side of the track.  A short section of path through some newly planted trees takes you directly back to the car park.


View / download this walk from Ordnance Survey.

View / download this walk from Viewranger.

Additional photographs can be viewed on Facebook.

© 2017 Fife Walking. All rights reserved. If using this route for a group or organised walk please credit Fife Walking as your source of information.